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1938 R66

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Mark E. Turner
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2022 11:23 pm

1938 R66

Post by Mark E. Turner »

Hi - I'm a new member who was lucky enough to acquire a 1938 R66 from a friend. I'll be getting the bike in pieces and will be building it but I'm not knowledgeable in early BMWs. I'm hoping I can ask the group for help in answering my questions. I'll be posting photos as I go so if anyone notices something I am doing wrong, or if there is something wrong with a part, please let me know. More pics to come.
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R68
Posts: 489
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:22 pm

Re: 1938 R66

Post by R68 »

Good for you! A very desirable BMW...take your time and do the good restoration it deserves?

sherman980
Posts: 73
Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:00 am

Re: 1938 R66

Post by sherman980 »

Mark,
Can't see from the pics you posted but do you have sheet metal (tank, fenders, etc.), and, if so, what kind of condition is it in? If it's decent, I'd be tempted to put the bike back back together restored mechanically but with the the original finishes on all the parts. If nothing else, you can ride it a bit and sort out the "bugs", then take it down for a cosmetic restoration. I have both complete restorations and original bikes in my collection, and, honestly, I enjoy riding the originals more. Just one guy's thoughts.....

I've attached a couple of pics of my 1936 R5. It's pretty much become my daily "rider".
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Thanks.
Chuck S

Mark E. Turner
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2022 11:23 pm

Re: 1938 R66

Post by Mark E. Turner »

Thanks for the comments.

Here are some more pics. Ran into my 1st problem. Check out the triple tree lower - is there another model that has the same lower triple tree? Thanks.
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User avatar
caker
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:49 pm
Location: Haddonfield, NJ, USA

Re: 1938 R66

Post by caker »

Hi,

Your lower fork triple is an original EARLY prewar type which was replaced with a re-designed version used all the way from late prewar through 1955 on the plunger bikes. I'm guessing it was redesigned to improve strength or eliminate failures in the early design...

Yours looks to have failed and then has obvious signs of repairs made.

Here's an example of an unmodified early original one like yours was:

forklower.jpg

-Chris

R68
Posts: 489
Joined: Wed Aug 20, 2008 4:22 pm

Re: 1938 R66

Post by R68 »

I think you may be able to substitute a triple tree from an R50/2 or 1951-52 R51/3, both of which use the desirable metal fork gaiters as your's...

Mark E. Turner
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2022 11:23 pm

Re: 1938 R66

Post by Mark E. Turner »

Thanks Chris and R68 - your comments are very helpful and i'll be on the hunt for those.

Mark E. Turner
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2022 11:23 pm

Re: 1938 R66

Post by Mark E. Turner »

Hi everybody. This project is remarkably complete. I'm not missing very many parts and I have 60s and 70s BMWs but not anything early. Hard to find anything on the internet so if anyone has any sources that would be great. The period manual doesn't even show a R66 engine. More pics to come. Thanks. Mark

User avatar
caker
Posts: 165
Joined: Sat Nov 12, 2011 10:49 pm
Location: Haddonfield, NJ, USA

Re: 1938 R66

Post by caker »

Mark,

For prewar plunger bikes, your best bets are:

Mark Huggett out of Switzerland. He is the source for MANY parts for all BMW bikes, and is affiliated with BMW Classic:
- https://www.bmwbike.com/

Second to that, Bench Mark Works which is now Max BMW, offers many of Hugget's parts here in the US
- http://www.benchmarkworks.com/ (you can still order from this website, it goes to Max BMW now)

Oldtimer Garage:
- https://oldtimergarage.eu/gb/45-r51-r61-r66-r71

RRC-Tuning has R61/R66/R71 rear main bearing carrier, which has inevitably spun and needs replacement:
- https://rrc-tuning.com/?cat=c159_BMW-R5 ... 6-r71.html

There's a fair amount of overlap with postwar plunger bikes, so things like fork parts and so on will work. I really like Vintage Beemer Parts on his website and on ebay:
- https://vintagebeemerparts.com/
- https://www.ebay.com/str/klassiccyclestuff

There are others, but it may depend on what you're looking for...

Cheers,
-Chris

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